When I awoke this morning I noticed the car was looking a little slumped to one side and further investigating revealed that the drivers side front tire was completely flat.

First: Thank goodness it was flat at home and didn't happen while I was driving.

Second: I realize I would have no idea how to change a flat tire if it happened to me on the road.

Since I now own a car, I am going to be driving a lot more often, and I need to be prepared for emergency/problem situations that may arise.  I have common sense and I took a driving course (12 years ago...), but I still have some serious learning to do.  Right now I feel like a grandparent who is first learning how to use the computer; I'm worried that everything I do or touch is going to break it somehow.  I need to get over that.

On Friday we thought the tire was low but we didn't bother to check the gauge or fill it up (it was late, I was tired).  I drove it on Saturday and I felt it was pulling to the left (a sign the tire was low), but I still didn't check it.  Then this morning, the tire was flat.  We used a motorized air pump and filled the tire. We waited a few hours to see if we had a fast leak on our hands, but it stayed inflated so we drove to the local gas station and used their heavy duty pump/gauge.  Each of the tires was filled to roughly 32psi (our optimal pressure).

Tonight we drove into town and bought ourselves a digital tire gauge.  I was really hyper about the tire the whole ride there and the whole ride home.  It has continued to stay inflated.  The digital gauge is awesome - this is a necessary technological advancement.
So hopefully our tire issue is just that we drove on a low tire and by neglecting to fill it up on the two days we noticed it, it rebelled by going flat.  Or there is a slow leak and it will have to be fixed.  We tested the gauge of all the tires tonight and we'll test them again tomorrow, so if the one tire does have a leak we should be able to tell.  I have learned my lesson about air in the tires though, and I will happily be checking the gauge regularly.  As for everything else there is to learn about car ownership/car maintenance/emergency car situations, I am reading my owners manual and taking it one day at a time.

UPDATE:  Ten days later and the tire hasn't gone flat again or lost more pressure than any of the other tires.  We've been driving around a lot since then, too.  I went through a phase where I was afraid to use my car because I thought the tire was going to blow up, but it hasn't given me any reason to continue to think that.  So far so good.

Posted by Jen B On Sunday, October 17, 2010 No comments

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